In this special feature we take a peek into the world of Scouting. Full of adventure and exciting activities, Scouting is one of the most popular after school activities for children. But what makes it so popular? Join us as we navigate through the different Scouting sections and explore some fascinating insights into this hugely successful worldwide movement. We will also be sharing the details of some local Scout groups. We’re sure you will soon see why this activity for children is so well loved as we list some of the benefits of being part of the Scouts.
Scouting - An Overview:
In 1907 Lord Baden Powell set up the first ‘Scout Camp’ in Poole, Dorset. Set up originally as a pilot scheme, it consisted of just 20 boys from a range of backgrounds. Fast forward almost 110 years later and modern day Scouting involves more than 450,000 boys and girls across the UK. During the early years the movement held such mass appeal that at the time of the 1910 census Scouting had more than 108,000 participants, 100,000 of which were young people.
It has been said that adventure is right at the heart of everything Scouts do. Children and young people who take part in the various sections have fun, make new friends and more importantly get outdoors to express their creativity and experience the world. There are five separate Scouting sections based on different age groups for both boys and girls. Children can start as young as six years of age and continue in the movement until adulthood. With over 200 different activities to try what are you waiting for?
Children aged between 6 - 8 years of age can enjoy taking part in Beavers. Beaver Colony meetings usually take place weekly and involve both indoor and outdoor activities. Indoor fun can include activities such as arts and crafts to singing, and also learning about good turns for the local community. Beavers also get outdoors and often have the opportunity to take part in camps and sleepovers.
Cub Scout packs have up to 36 cubs aged between 8 - 10½ years old. They too meet weekly and the pack is split into smaller groups called ‘Sixes’. Activities that take place in Cubs are a little bit more varied and challenging than in Beavers. Cubs tend to spend a lot more time outdoors, as well as having the space to undertake indoor games and activities.
From ages 10½ - 14 your child will take part in a Scout group or ‘troop’. Each Scout troop is made up of smaller groups of between 6-8 children called a ‘Patrol’. These different Patrols are led by a Patrol leader. Your child will take part in a lot more outdoor activities once they become a Scout. Camping is the main highlight for any Scout Troop. When they can’t get outside camping, Scouts will learn all the relevant skills they need for camp such as first aid, cooking and map reading.
The ideal group for teenagers and young adults, Explorer Scouts are aged between 14 - 18 years old. Explorer Scouts are encouraged to lead their own units themselves by deciding the programme and direction with the help and guidance from leaders. Given a greater sense of responsibility, Explorer Scouts can also be included in the Young Leaders Scheme. This gives them the opportunity to train to eventually go on and lead younger groups within the Scouting movement. They are also heavily involved in working towards Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
The final Scout section is aimed at adults from the age of 18 - 25. This particular section meets and organises activities and experiences for themselves, often with the support of a Scout Network Leader.
Scouting - The Benefits:
The Great Outdoors…
From Beavers through to Explorer Scouts, all sections are encouraged to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. There are so many opportunities to try new activities at each section, so your child or young person will have plenty of different experiences to try. Famous Scouting activities include kayaking, abseiling, archery and of course camping and outdoor sleepovers!
Confidence is key
With adventure at its heart each Scouting section will offer your child a variety of different challenges and activities. These new adventures encourage young children to set and achieve their own personal goals and builds their self confidence. This sense of achievement is emphasised and encouraged through the different Scouts badges and awards they can attain.
All this fun and adventure doesn’t have to cost the earth! In fact, according to a 2010 survey 75% of parents said Scouting provided the best value for money compared to other after school activities’ (1)
Did you know…
Some Super Scouting Stats
The first ever Scout camp was held by Robert Baden Powell in 1907
Famous Scouts include Richard Branson, Barack Obama and David Beckham!
In 2009 TV Celebrity and explorer Bear Grylls was announced as the new Chief Scout.
Scouting - The Kit
Not as complicated as you might think… The main uniform for Scouts is a coloured sweatshirt or shirt depending on your child’s age and the section they are in. Scouts also wear a special group scarf dependent on their section.
Fees do vary on the individual group and area, but it is likely to be between £50 to £100 per year, per child. These membership fees cover the hire of the meeting place. Additional activities such as day-trips or camping are usually in addition to this.
Scouts - How to get involved
To start your child’s adventure with the Scouts firstly find a local group that is suitable for your child. You can check if Scouting is happening in your area by visiting the website scouts.org.uk/get-involved/
Check the waiting lists … which do occur frequently due to the lack of volunteers to run each group. Interest to get involved is high and so check your local group and add yourself to the waiting list if you need to.
The values of the Scouting movement are ‘integrity, respect, care, belief and cooperation’. Although there might be certain religious associations with Scout groups, the association is an inclusive and values based movement, and membership is open to all faiths and beliefs (including the absence of an affirmed faith) who share the Scout movement’s values.
A couple of local Scout Groups
1st Richmond Scouts (St Matthias)
1st Richmond Scouts is a busy Scout group who offer Beaver, Cub and Scout sections for girls and boys. They are based in Richmond close to Richmond Park. Section meeting take place weekly during school term-time. Beaver Scouts meetings take place on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Cub Scout Pack meetings are Wednesday and Thursday evening, alongside these weekly meetings, Cubs are also invited to take part in the weekend Borough Camp which takes place annually in July. (Unfortunately they are currently unable to accept any new children into their Cubs section or waiting list. Please see their website for further details). 1st Richmond have two Scout Troops, one meets on Tuesday evenings and the other on Friday evenings. They too have the opportunity to take part in the annual weekend Borough Camp in July. Scouts can also take part in several other camps including one abroad during the summer holidays.
1st Kingston Hill Scouts
1st Kingston Hill Scouts sections take place at the HQ in Park Road, Kingston. They offer four sections: Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers all during term-time. The group have a spacious hall for indoor activities along with a large field which is often used for camping amongst other exciting activities. Beavers meet on Thursday evenings and Cubs hold their weekly meetings on Wednesday evenings. On Thursday evenings it’s time for the Scout Troop to have their fun. Finally Explorer Scouts usually meet on Tuesday evenings and due to the nature of group they also often meet at the weekends depending on the activity.
Need to fit in Scouting and other activities into the family calendar each week? We can help. Simply sign up to receive your personal bespoke schedule. We remove the feeling of overwhelm when it comes to organising the children activities. Get in touch via our Parents page on the website for more information.